A Stitch in Time

The entrance to ‘Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion’ at the MoMu in Antwerp

Belgium’s curatorial authority on all things fashion– Antwerp’s MoMu museum–  recently unveiled their latest exhibition ‘Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion.’  Exploring the scope of knitwear’s reach throughout the 20th and 21st century [thus far], the exhibit showcases a range of iconic and avant-garde knitwear from a number of vintage favorites, current established designers and those whose collective star is rising via conceptual, often transcendental knitwear.  The important decades for knitwear in fashion are addressed in the show, demonstrating the persistent popularity of knitwear over time.  As MoMu curator Karen Van Godtsenhoven explained to Another magazine in this recent interview, “….we found that throughout history, knitting has consistently played a social role in revolutions. In the twenties it changed sports and stimulated emancipation, in the sixties the ‘youth quake’ reacted against the older generations’ couture with knitted clothing. And now, knitwear is part of another revolution: the slow fashion movement…we now have young people knitting again – setting up knitting classes, writing knitting blogs and even ‘guerilla knitting.’ Despite its many changes in status, knitwear has never really disappeared.”

The show includes 1920s-era Chanel and Schiaparelli knits as well as work by Jean Patou, knitwear titans Sonia Rykiel and Missoni [and more] in addition to cutting edge pieces by Maison Martin Margiela, Sandra Backlund, Mark Fast, and Christian Wijnants among others.

Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion‘ runs from 16 March – 14 August 2011.  Open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am -6pm

Jean Patou, 1926                                                                                           Chanel circa 1920s

Both Sonia Rykiel; 2nd photo circa 1970s

Missoni circa 1960s-70s, the infamous maglia zig-zag

Martin Margiela F/W 09; Martin Margiela Artisinal Collection

Sandra Backlund; Tilda Swinton in Mark Fast, Another Magazine August 2009 Please note: These photos are historical and current references and do not necessarily represent actual pieces that are in the exhibition itself.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.